Portrait of Dr. Giovanni Battista Bella
Angelo Bruneri (active first half of the 19th century)
19th century, Polychrome terracotta
This half-length portrait in painted terracotta has as its base two books, realistically modelled to render the binding and the block of the pages. It is smaller than life-size and depicts a middle-aged man elegantly dressed in a black jacket, from which a white collar and tie knot emerge according to the custom and fashion of the first half of the 19th century. The realistic expression of the face is a result not only of the regular proportions and meticulous modelling of the features, but also of the use of polychrome. The pose is a natural one and the figure looks slightly to the left. The dark, curly hair is rendered in soft waves that fall on the forehead, still allowing the man's high receding hairline to be seen. The person portrayed is traditionally recognised as Giambattista Bella, an Alexandrian physician of the Napoleonic era.